For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is extremely disappointed with today’s announcement from the administration that it is moving forward with applying individual out-of-pocket limits to those who are part of a family health plan, beginning in 2016.
ERIC, the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of the country’s largest employers, strongly feels this rule was not created with statutory authority and does not comply with the legal notice and comment period.
“Last minute rule changes, especially those done without compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act, make it very difficult for employers to provide their workers with the best possible information and health plan options,” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, ERIC. “We were hopeful that the Administration would reconsider their position on out-of-pocket limits in light of the harm this does to group health plans and the millions of workers and family members covered by them. This position will force many companies to raise premiums to offset this required plan design change.”
Earlier this year, ERIC wrote to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury urging the agencies to withdraw their new “clarification” on out-of-pocket limits so that stakeholders could have a chance to comment and the statutory underpinnings for such a rule could be reviewed.
“At the very least, the Administration should have offered a two year delay on the rule giving companies, many whom have already negotiated plans for 2016, time to comply and educate their employees, as well as figure out how the plan design should be changed to accommodate the additional expense generated by the new out-of-pocket limits,” said Guarisco Fildes.